How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord.
Psalm 119:1

How blessed are those…

In verse 1 and verse 2 the Psalmist says “How blessed are those…”

What does it mean to be blessed? “Characterized by happiness and being highly favored (as by divine grace).”

Spurgeon says: “The Psalmist is so enraptured with the word of God that he regards it as his highest ideal of blessedness to be conformed to it. He has gazed on the beauties of the perfect law, and, as if this verse were the sum and outcome of all his emotions, he exclaims, ‘Blessed is the man whose life is the practical transcript of the will of God.’”1Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The Treasury of David: Psalms 111-119 (Vol. 5, p. 139). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers. 

How can a person be blessed? Their way must be blameless!

Well, when you read this very first phrase it seems quite hopeless for anyone to be blessed!

Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin”?
Proverbs 20:9

If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.
Psalm 130:3–4

Thomas Manton reminds us that this is undefiledness in a gospel sense.2Works of Thomas Manton Vol VI, Sermon 1

  • It is the fact that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8)
  • It is the truth that the believer is no longer in bondage to sin. (Romans 6)
  • It is the confidence the believer has that He who has begun a good work in them will bring it to completion. (Philippians 1)

“He whose life is in a gospel sense undefiled, is blessed, because he could never have reached this point if a thousand blessings had not already been bestowed on him. By nature we are defiled and out of the way, and we must therefore have been washed in the atoning blood to remove defilement, and we must have been converted by the power of the Holy Ghost, or we should not have been turned into the way of peace, nor be undefiled in it. Nor is this all, for the continual power of grace is needed to keep a believer in the right way, and to preserve him from pollution. All the blessings of the covenant must have been in a measure poured upon those who from day to day have been enabled to perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord. Their way is the evidence of their being the blessed of the Lord.”3Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The Treasury of David: Psalms 111-119 (Vol. 5, p. 140). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

So, the blessed man is, first of all, a forgiven believer who is committed to walking through this life in an upright manner. That is, doing those things that are pleasing to the Lord.

The evidence that someone is blameless is if they “walk in the law of the Lord.”  Walk: to live or behave in a specific manner.

“That sincere, constant, uniform obedience to God’s law is the only way to true blessedness.”4Works of Thomas Manton Vol VI, Sermon 1

“‘Who walk in the law of the Lord.’ In them is found habitual holiness. Their walk, their common everyday life is obedience unto the Lord. They live by rule, that rule the command of the Lord God. Whether they eat or drink, or whatsoever they do, they do all in the name of their great Master and Exemplar. To them religion is nothing out of the way, it is their everyday walk: it moulds their common actions as well as their special devotions. This ensures blessedness. He who walks in God’s law walks in God’s company, and he must be blessed; he has God’s smile, God’s strength, God’s secret with him, and how can he be otherwise than blessed?”5 Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The Treasury of David: Psalms 111-119 (Vol. 5, p. 141). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

“Rough may be the way, stern the rule, hard the discipline,—all these we know and more,—but a thousand heaped-up blessednesses are still found in godly living, for which we bless the Lord.”6 Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The Treasury of David: Psalms 111-119 (Vol. 5, p. 141). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

There is no doubt that almost everyone would desire to have God’s blessing. For most, it is another selfish desire that does not take into serious consideration what it means to have a relationship with a holy God. The psalmist understands the great blessing of knowing this great God and the privilege it is to be able to walk according to His law.